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FG strategises on preventable medication

 

The Federal Government said that strategies had been put in place for the reduction of severe preventable medication-related harm by 50 per cent in the next five years.

Dr Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, said this in Abuja on Monday at a news conference to commemorate the 2022 World Patient Safety Day.

Ehanire, represented by Mrs Adebimpe Adebiyi, Director of Hospital Services, Ministry of Health, said the day was marked annually on Sept. 17.

“The benefits of drugs and medications cannot be over emphasised. However, medications can sometimes cause serious harm if not used correctly either as a result of miscommunication between the patient and healthcare giver.

“Other issues are error in prescriptions, poor monitoring of a patient on medication, misuse of antibiotics which can result in antimicrobial resistance, confusion in dispensing look alike and sound alike drugs,’’ he said.

Ehanire said that the reduction would be by making improvements at each stage of the medication process, including prescribing, dispensing, administering, monitoring and use. AAccordingto him, underreporting of medication errors is also an issue.

Ehanire said that the high incidence of major medication errors related to the prescription of incorrect antiretroviral therapy (ART), protocols, and potential drug-drug interaction in Nigeria’s HIV treatment Programme have been reported in the past.

He said that the incidence of medication errors was somewhat high, and the majority of identified errors were related to the prescription of incorrect ART regimens and potential drug-drug interactions.

Ehanire said that errors were not limited to medical or surgical services alone, some errors had also been recorded in some laboratories.

He said that Nigeria was already working to develop its National Policy and Strategy on Patient Safety and Quality of care.

The minister says “We are hoping it will be completed and launched this year so that it can be deployed for use in all our health facilities at all levels of care.”

He said the policy focused on improving medication safety, surgical safety, and safety of all medical procedures among others.

“Sensitisation and capacity are ongoing in our Federal Tertiary Health Institutions in the form of training on medication safety, infection prevention control, and other aspects of patient safety,’’ Ehanire said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO), Country Representative to Nigeria, Dr Walter Mulombo said medication errors occurred most commonly due to weaknesses in medication systems, and are aggravated by shortages of well-trained health staff.

 

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